delight heart

Our culture seems fixated on finding passion. Channel surfing on a Sunday afternoon shows sports fans that pay lots of money to attend games where they can be part of the crowd, enthusiastically cheering for their team. Jerseys, foam fingers, and face paint are evidence of the depth of passion for their team.

We like the thrill of being caught up in the moment, and we pursue that thrill every chance we get. But the thrills we pursue are so often short lived. We have substituted  pornography for intimacy, sex for love. The passion of our political arguments usually change nothing but the other person’s opinion of us, not their politics. We choose to be a part of the cheering crowd, rather than a participant in the event. The delights of our hearts in those moments are short lived and, too often, disappointing.

I thoroughly enjoy a close score or race. It is exciting to watch people give their all in pursuit of their goal. But the outcome of the match or game rarely matters in the grand scheme of life. The thrill of that moment…only lasts for a moment. Sex becomes the impediment, rather than the first step, to deep relationship. Two weeks from now, a year from now, we spectators may not even be able to remember which teams played, much less the score. Our passion from the “stadium seats” doesn’t really impact anything but our moment and their advertising dollars. The events that bring a smile to our hearts for the rest of our lives come only from lives invested in the relationship, in the victory. We can’t know profound victory from the cheap seats. We spend our passion in pursuit of things that do not feed our souls.

God created us with the capability for deep passion. Our free will governs what passions we will pursue. What feels good in the moment may disappoint us in the long run. What is difficult in the moment may fulfill us in the long run.

What would change if we were as passionate for the things of God as we are for things of this world? How would those around you be impacted if your passion for God was as obvious as your political opinion? How would your life be different if your most enthusiastic moments were in the presence of God, rather than in front of your TV? If the thrill of your life was seeing God at work in the situations of your life, rather than just being a spectator of someone else’s success?

Many believers see Lent as a time to sacrifice – to consecrate themselves – to remove things from their life that threaten their purity or to use the desire for those things to remind themselves to pray in order to deepen their relationship with and understanding of God, to increase their holiness. God commands us to be holy – to be set apart from this world, and when we consecrate ourselves to that end, He will do mighty things for us, in us, and through us.

Don’t settle for the temporary, shallow thrills of this world. Don’t just study the stories of others who knew God. Ask God for a front row seat to his power and presence in your own story with Him. Let this season of Lent be a time when you intentionally, consistently expect Him in your day, and let your life show evidence of increasing holiness and decreasing worldliness. Ask God to give you the desires of His heart as you seek Him with all of your heart.